The tragic story of a man who died on Christmas Day in Shipston after he was hit by an unlit taxi during a World War II blackout has been revealed to his family.
Today (September 7) marks 80 years since the start of The Blitz. Keen to discover more about his family history, Paul Oxley, a rail safety manager from Essex, went online to complete his family tree and uncover photos and details from his ancestors experiences during World War II.
And he came across a story that is still talked about in the Shipston.
Paul, 34, said: “I’d had long discussions with my mum and dad about their memories of the Second World War but was fascinated by the experiences my grandparents would have been through, so signed up to Ancestry to have a look at what I could find.”
“One of the most interesting stories from my mum’s side has been that my maternal grandmother was sent to the countryside to avoid being near London during the Blitz.
"She went to live with her grandparents in the Cotswolds and on Christmas Day in 1940, her grandfather Philip Mingo was killed when he was run over by an unlit taxi, whose headlights were turned off during the blackout in Shipston-on-Stour."
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Paul was able to locate his great great grandfather’s records and found an image of him.
He added: "Apparently, even to this day, the story is widely known as a local legend in the village of Shipston-on-Stour, which is incredible.”
Philip Mingo and his family lived in Newbold-on-Stour, just four miles north of Shipston. It was outside his house on the main road that runs through Newbold to Shipston where he was killed.
The Mingo family all settled in the local area, primarily at Alderminster – the next village north of Newbold.
Many of Paul’s relatives are laid to rest in the local church there. He used to visit his Great Great Uncle (Philip Mingo’s son) Kenneth Mingo when he was younger. Kenneth died in 1999.
Even some of Paul’s dad's early memories – from the age of two – are of The Blitz.
Paul adds: “My dad, Brian was born in February 1942 and remembers visiting his fraternal grandmother in Thornton Heath in 1944 and a V1 rocket destroying several nearby houses.
"He was sat in the living room with his mother and grandmother when the bomb landed, and the windows blew out due to the shockwave.”
For more information about Ancestry’s Blitz art collection and StoryScout, visit www.ancestry.co.uk/Blitz80. To access Ancestry’s records and discover untold personal stories from World War II, visit www.ancestry.co.uk. Keep up to date on social media by following #Blitz80.